3 key impacts of cloud computing on security operations

  • Cloud security encompasses procedures and technology to combat internal and external threats to business security.
  • Organisations require cloud security as they progress with their digital transformation strategy and integrate cloud-based tools and services into their infrastructure.
  • Cloud computing adoption broadens the attack surface, requiring a shared security responsibility model, and increased focus on data protection, privacy, and regulatory compliance.

By using advanced security technologies, collaborating with Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), and complying with data protection regulations, organisations can maximise the benefits of cloud computing while safeguarding their customer data from potential threats.

–Jinny Xu, BTW reporter

Cloud computing offers unparalleled advantages in scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency, but it also introduces new security challenges. From expanding attack surfaces to Identity and data protection and privacy, the shift to the cloud necessitates a revaluation of traditional security strategies. In this blog, we delve into the key impacts of cloud computing on security operations.

1. Expanded attack surface

With cloud computing, data and applications are no longer confined to on-premises servers. Instead, they are distributed across multiple locations and accessed via the internet, which expands the attack surface. This means that security operations must account for a broader range of potential entry points, making threat detection and prevention more complex.

For example, data stored in various global data centres introduces new risks, such as exposure to different regional threats and legal jurisdictions. Public-facing cloud services are accessible from anywhere, increasing the likelihood of external attacks like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and phishing.

Integrating cloud services with third-party applications can introduce vulnerabilities if not properly managed and secured. Companies must implement robust firewall protections, traffic monitoring, and secure integration practices to mitigate these risks.

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2. Shared responsibility model

In cloud environments, security responsibilities are divided between cloud service providers (CSPs) and customers. CSPs handle the security of the cloud infrastructure, ensuring physical security, infrastructure maintenance, and network controls. In contrast, customers are responsible for securing their data and applications within the cloud, which includes configuring proper access controls, data encryption, and ensuring that applications are free of vulnerabilities. This shared responsibility model requires clear delineation of responsibilities and vigilant oversight to ensure all security aspects are covered.

AWS protects the infrastructure that runs its cloud services, but customers must secure their data and applications using tools like AWS, Identity and Access Management (IAM) and AWS Key Management Service (KMS). Misconfigurations, such as leaving S3 buckets publicly accessible, can lead to significant data breaches if not properly managed.

3. Data protection and privacy

Ensuring the privacy and integrity of data in the cloud is paramount. Security operations must implement robust encryption, access controls, and data governance policies. Compliance with data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, adds another layer of complexity, requiring continuous monitoring and adherence to legal standards. Data should be encrypted both in transit and at rest using strong encryption protocols, and stringent access controls must be implemented to ensure only authorised users can access sensitive data. Establishing data governance policies for data management, classification, and lifecycle is essential to ensure compliance and data integrity.

Organisations storing data of EU citizens in the cloud must comply with GDPR, including data encryption, access logging, and the right to be forgotten. Similarly, healthcare providers using cloud services must ensure patient data is encrypted and access controls meet HIPAA standards to protect sensitive health information.


Jinny Xu

Jinny Xu is an intern reporter at Blue Tech Wave specialising in Fintech and AI. She graduated from Chongqing Institute of Foreign Studies.Send tips to j.xu@btw.media.

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